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HIV is the same regardless of how you get infected

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th August 2008 03:00 AM

HIV is the same regardless of the route of infection. However, the lifestyle of a person may influence the progression of the disease. MSM are also at a higher risk of getting HIV because of the differences in the anatomy of the anus and vagina.

HIV is the same regardless of the route of infection. However, the lifestyle of a person may influence the progression of the disease. MSM are also at a higher risk of getting HIV because of the differences in the anatomy of the anus and vagina.

Face HIV with Dr Waititi

Dear Doctor,
I followed the proceedings of the recent International AIDS Conference in Mexico on the Internet and I was disappointed. It seems most of the emphasis was put on HIV among men having sex with men (MSM) and Africa seems to have been left out. Is there anything different about the HIV in MSM from HIV among heterosexual populations?
Sam

Dear Sam,
HIV is the same regardless of the route of infection. However, the lifestyle of a person may influence the progression of the disease. MSM are also at a higher risk of getting HIV because of the differences in the anatomy of the anus and vagina.

Anal transmission is more efficient than vaginal transmission because of the differences in the linings of these organs.

The lining of the anus is more delicate than that of the vagina and can easily be damaged during sex leading to HIV infection. MSM also are a minority in countries like Uganda because homosexuality is illegal.

We should, however, not be distracted from the problem we have of high infection rates of HIV among heterosexuals.

All sex, whether homosexual or heterosexual, is risky unless people are practising safe sex.

The wisest thing is for all of us to get adequate information about all the aspects of HIV transmission and prevention to make informed decisions regarding our lifestyles.

HIV is the same regardless of how you get infected

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